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Replacing a Gigabot X Heater Cartridge

Replacing a Gigabot X Heater Cartridge

  1. Determine that you can’t avoid removing the heater cartridges as this is a very laborious procedure.
  2. Identify the heater block(s) needing heater cartridge removal. There isn’t enough space between the heater blocks to pull out the long heater cartridge, so they must be shifted or removed in order to replace the heater cartridge.
  3. Drop the Z position of the bed to 300mm.
  4. Turn off the Gigabot.
  5. Place a piece of cardboard or another protective surface on the bed to protect it from any dropped tools.
  6. Remove the Kapton tape and insulation from the extruder.
  7. Disconnect the thermocouple and heater cartridge connections at the print head. 
  8. Unscrew the thermocouples carefully, without twisting the wire, as they are delicate components.
  9. Insert a flathead screwdriver, chisel, or some other wedged tool into the vertical slot on the bottom heater block. Use a mallet or hammer to drive the wedge tool into the slot and loosen the heater block. You may want to hold a metal or wooden block on the other side of the heater block to prevent the print head from moving during hammering.
  10. Once loosened, slide the heater block down, over the nozzle, and off the extruder barrel. If necessary, hammer a second wedged tool in the heater block slot to further loosen the heater block.
  11. Repeat these steps with the middle heater block, then the top heater block as necessary.
  12. Once the desired heater blocks are removed, use an allen key wrench to loosen the set screw on the side of the heater block.
  13. Remove the heater cartridge from the heater block by pulling it out through the top of the block. Alternatively, tap the cartridge with a mallet from the underside of the heater block to help push it out.
  14. Insert a new heater cartridge into the heater block, making sure to use a heater cartridge with the label that corresponds to that heater block. This ensures that the heater cartridge has the correct wire length. If available, apply a thin film of thermal grease to the heater cartridge before inserting it.
  15. Retighten the set screw.
  16. Repeat this replacement process with any other heater blocks.
  17. Replace the heater block(s) back onto the barrel in the correct order, with the top first, then the middle, then the bottom heater block. To do this, slide each heater block up over the nozzle and onto the barrel. Position each heater block such that there is a ##” space between each block, and the bottom block is flush with the bottom of the barrel. If necessary, use a wedged tool to expand the heater block to help fit it back on the barrel.
  18. Reconnect all thermocouple and heater cartridge connections into their correct locations
  19. Validate the heater cartridges work by turning on the printer and setting one of the extruders to 35C under Control > Temperature. Verify the correct heater block heats up, and the Viki reads an elevated temperature for the correct extruder. Once verified, cool down the extruder. Repeat with all extruders. 
    • Troubleshooting:
      • If the wrong extruder heats up or a different extruder shows an elevated temperature on the Viki, turn off the printer and recheck your thermocouple and heater cartridge connections.
      • If a temperature reading on the Viki jumps over 3C in one reading or shows a temperature over 900C, that thermocouple is broken and must be replaced.
  20. Once all thermocouples and heater cartridges are validated, wrap the extruder with the insulation, making sure to run the heater cartridge and thermocouple wires through the horizontal slits in the insulation so the insulation can be tucked between the wires and the heater blocks.
  21. Rewrap the entire extruder with Kapton tape. 
  22. Trim any excess Kapton tape and insulation at the top and bottom of the extruder, and check that no insulation or Kapton tape extends past the bottom of the bottom heater block.

Questions or concerns? Contact our support team by emailing support@re3d.org.

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